A Beautiful Castle Made of Pebbles

középfok

Olvassuk el a postás történetét, aki kavicsokból épített kastélyt magának! A szöveget oldalunkon meg is hallgathatod, és ha nyelvvizsgára készülsz, a magazin 2016. márciusi számában hallás utáni értést tesztelő kérdéssort is találsz mellé. 

French postman spends 33 years building impressive palace from pebbles collected on his route

Romewasn’t built in day, and it certainly wasn’t for rural postman Ferdinand Cheval, who dedicated 33 years of his life to construct an incredible limestone palace, complete with pillars, buttresses and grottoes

The widower would often find unusually shaped rocks as he delivered mail in France, and ended up pushing a wheelbarrow each day on his 18-mile route to collect stones of beauty. 

What started as a small hobby, soon became a life project in 1879, resulting in one of the most magnificent amateur architectural structures to date; Le Palais idéal.

Ferdinand Cheval left school at age 13 to become a baker’s apprentice, but ended up delivering mail in the Hauterives area. 

The idea for the elaborate cathedral came when he tripped over an unusually shaped rock in his 30s.

He later wrote in his journal: ‘I wanted to know the cause. In a dream I had built a palace, a castle or caves. I told no one about it for fear of being ridiculed and I felt ridiculous myself.

‘I said to myself: since Nature is willing to do the sculpture, I will do the masonry and the architecture.’ 

Cheval would haul his findings to a site in Hauterives every day after work, and thus began the ambitious 33 year project, completed with no outside help

The dedicated builder would often have to work well into the night, by the light of an oil lamp, but that didn’t deter him from his mission. 

Due to the long hours of the project, the widower left his son in the care of godparents, in order to be able to focus his energies on his work.  

The outer walls, measuring 24 metres in length, and 10 metres high, took 22 years to complete, with Cheval binding the stones together with lime, mortar and cement.  

Le Palais idéal is as intricate as it is vast, and includes sculptures of exotic animals and mythical creatures, which were inspired by the postcards and newspapers he delivered, and with influences from Christianity and Hinduism.

When Cheval died, he requested that he could be buried at the palace. 

Sadly it was not permitted and the talented constructor ended up building his own mausoleum for himself in the cemetery where he was buried after his death in 1924, a year after finishing the palace. 

The structure is beloved by visitors today, 100 years after it was constructed, and was even featured on a French stamp in 1986. 

Perhaps most poignant explanation for the architectural wonder is the inscription carved into the palace by Cheval: ‘The dream of one man.’ A real labour of love.

Find the words in the text that are missing from these sentences.

1. I posted the letter last week but it was …………… only today.

2. He has been a …………… since his wife died ten years ago.

3. Johnny’s classmates often …………… him for his funny old clothes.

4. I was …………… from trying mountaineering by the stories I heard about accidents.

5. The businessman …………… several years to build his new enterprise.

6. His father died last year. He was buried in this ……………

7. They took torches and ropes with them on their expedition to explore the …………… under the hill.

8. She took a long time to create these …………… designs.

9. He …………… the kerb as he was running in the street and fell.

10. Everyone cried after hearing her …………… story.

Key:

1. delivered

2. widower

3. ridiculed

4. deterred

5. dedicated

6. cemetery

7. cave

8. intricate

9. tripped over

10. poignant

Vocabulary

pebble

kő, kavics

to dedicate

odaszánni, odaszentelni

limestone

mészkő

pillar

oszlop

buttress

pillér, támfal

grotto

barlang

would often find

gyakran talált

to deliver

kézbesíteni

wheelbarrow

talicska

to date

máig

apprentice

tanonc, segéd

elaborate

gondosan kidolgozott

to trip over

belebotlani

journal

napló

cave

barlang

for fear of

attól félve, hogy

to ridicule

nevetségessé tenni

sculpture

szobrászat

masonry

kőműves munka

to haul

szállítani, fuvarozni

with no outside help

külső segítség nélkül

dedicated

odaszánt

well into the night

éjszakába nyúlóan

to deter

eltántorítani, eltéríteni

lime

mész

mortar

habarcs

cement

cement

intricate

részletesen kimunkált

vast

hatalmas

cemetery

temető

poignant

megrendítő

labour of love

szeretetből, kedvtelésből, nem fizetésért végzett munka

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